Family members are seeking answers after a mother of two was shot and killed by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper after officials say she drove in the trooper's direction during a traffic stop in northwest Miami-Dade.
Latasha Nicole Walton, 32, was killed in the Tuesday night shooting that happened near the 16000 block of Northwest 7th Avenue near the Golden Glades interchange.
"We're just raw from it, left a lot of people in pain. Kids, family, it's just hurting," cousin Reginald Crockett told NBC 6 Thursday.
Crockett said Walton grew up in Pompano Beach and leaves behind two sons, ages 16 and 10. He said he last saw Walton at a family gathering on Sunday.
"We had a big family cooking out and everybody was over, everybody, we hung out for hours. Everything is love but I never knew it would be the last time seeing her," he said.
According to FHP officials, the incident began when a trooper tried to stop a vehicle that was driving erratically. Trooper Ronald Melendez-Bonilla responded to assist the trooper and positioned his patrol car in front of the vehicle, which he said was attempting to flee the traffic stop, officials said.
"Due the unusual behavior of the subject, Trooper Melendez-Bonilla exited his patrol vehicle and drew his firearm," FHP said in a statement.
Walton, who was driving the car, drove forward in the direction of Melendez-Bonilla, who fired multiple shots into the car, killing Walton, officials said.
The shooting remains under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
"She was a great person inside and out. The way things happened, it wasn’t for her, she's too good of a person to be taken like this with no chance of nothing," Crockett said.